The Paw Print

The Student News Site of Colts Neck High School

The Paw Print

The Paw Print

Seasons Greetings

Seasons Greetings

A little boy keeps walking through the woods. Well, the area he called the woods. It was just a few leafless trees around the flat area of land. He kept walking and looking around him as everything was covered in snow. It looked pretty to him, so pretty he was distracted. As he kept walking, he failed to notice a fox looking at him from the side of a tree. A red fox. His paws and end of his tail were dark brown and his underbelly, chest, and fur under his muzzle were white. The rest of him was red. The fox just looked at the boy, but the boy ended up running away while screaming. Not a scream of fear, he probably just screamed to scare the fox. The fox made a face. A face that is the literal embodiment of the words, ‘You for real?’.

“See, I told you, Buddy. No human likes a fox.” ” the fox shouted, looking at a big tree far away in front of him. It was a snow-covered pine tree. A reindeer walked out behind the tree. His antlers were pretty big. His back, legs, neck, and head were brown. His underbelly was more like the foxes with it being white on the underbelly and chest. Buddy the reindeer said to himself, “Yeah, I see.”. Buddy ran to the fox and talked again. “Also keep it down. He could have heard you, Ren.”. “Humans can’t understand us, all they hear is noise when we speak. I just yelled to make sure he wouldn’t come back.”, Ren the fox explained to his friend. “I’m just gonna move on so this doesn’t become an argument. Wanna just head to the fields?”, told asked Buddy with a serious face that changed into a smiling one. Ren gave a mischievous smile and answered, “Ok, Race you there 3 2 1 GO!”. Ren spoke so fast that his sentence barely sounded consistent. Buddy shook his head and ran after him.

“No fair! I wasn’t ready!”, Buddy shouted with a smile on his face. “I’m a fox, you should have expected that! Plus you’re over twice my size! You’ll catch up easily.”, Ren said, not looking back. The fox was making good distance, but his friend was coming right behind him. Ren couldn’t run any faster and eventually Buddy passed him. The reindeer made it to the fields first, which because it was winter, was just a flat plain covered in snow that was a foot deep. Buddy ran through the snow, making a path behind him and pushing some snow up into the air in front of him. Ren caught up to Buddy, mainly because the reindeer slowed down. The fox jumped a little to the left and right as he was running and Buddy just laughed when he looked, but he just kept running at the same speed.

After a while running, the two of them got tired of running and sat on top of a hill, watching the clouds. Well maybe just, cloud. The sky was mostly white due to all the snow clouds with only a few spots you could see the blue sky, so it felt more like one big cloud. That’s what Ren likes to think anyway. They just watched the clouds go by and tried to get a look at the sunset that was covered by the clouds. This was a little something they liked doing and Ren cherished this moment. After all, it would be one of his few moments left with Buddy. The fox felt a tear roll down his cheek and Buddy moved a bit closer to him, he probably saw the tear. “It’s okay to be sad. I am too.”, The reindeer said in a soft and calming voice. “I know. I just, I…I…I thought I’d be more prepared for this.”, the fox said with a little crack in his voice as he continued. “Dang it, I hate being like this! I feel like such a mess. I knew you’d have to go but I thought I could hold it in until you left.”. At this point, Ren was leaning into Buddy’s side. The reindeer was rubbing Ren’s back with his hoof.

Ren and Buddy befriended each other at the start of December. They were with one another after that but when January came, Buddy told Ren that he was migrating and he’d have to leave after the winter months. Specifically on February 22nd so he can get a head start. Ren didn’t have friends with him being a fox, so he was very sad knowing he’d have to say goodbye to his only friend. Buddy tried to comfort him more and said, “I know it’ll be hard and you’ll miss me, but I want you to know I cherished every moment with you Ren. I don’t want to promise you anything I can’t keep, but with luck, I might be able to come back here next winter.”. Ren looked up at him with tear-filled eyes and said, “Thank you. I cheered every moment I spent with you too.”. The two stayed silent, taking in every second they spent together, no matter what they did.


Winter left, and so did Buddy. It was March 7th, and Ren refused to leave the hollow tree he lived in except for when he needed food or water. He felt so lonely now that he had no one to talk to, play with, or do…anything with! And it’s only been a little under 2 weeks. He’s worried he’ll be sulking in his home for 9 months. Maybe even more. There’s no guarantee Buddy will be back next winter after all. Ren wondered what Buddy would say to him if he were here. “Ren, I know you’re sad, but I can’t stand to see you like this! And I can’t be with you all the time to make you feel better. I know it’s probably not what you want to hear, but you need to go out. The world is still moving and the days are still passing. I don’t want you to stay inside and let time pass you by.”. That’s what he would say, Ren knows it. It wasn’t easy but he picked himself up and walked outside for the first time in a while.

He closed his eyes real quick because his eyes didn’t get a lot of natural light for a while. Ren opened them slowly and his eyes adjusted. He saw only small amounts of snow here and there, and the grass getting its color back and waving in the wind. Ren always liked watching long grass move in the wind. Especially in big fields, it was mesmerizing to him. The fox completely forgot what the sky looked like and the smell of the spring breeze. He already felt a little better, even if Buddy wasn’t here. He decided to go to one place that he always goes to during the spring, a field of wildflowers with many kinds of shapes, colors, sizes and smells. It was a thing he did every first day of spring. Just thinking about it gave him spring fever.

Ren walked probably halfway from his home to the wildflower field. He forgot the feeling of sunlight on his fur and how it felt when the wind blew past him. Ren started thinking he’d have a good time even without Buddy. “Hey Red.”, said a girl-like voice from somewhere, said with a fast pace. Ren looked around quickly to find where that voice was coming from. The voice sounded so close but he didn’t see any. Not immediately. When Ren stopped looking around, a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird flew in front of his face, moving just a tiny bit in a random direction every few seconds but still staying relatively in the same spot. Ren looked at her and asked, “Umm, I’m Ren.”. “Hey, I know you’re red!”, She responded. She wasn’t going to get it right now.

She ended up quickly talking again and said, “Sorry but I was passing by and as I was looking for flowers I saw you, and foxes are fairly common here so I was wondering if you were from around here cause if you are I could really use some nectar if you know where to find some flowers.”. She said all of that with almost no breaks to take a breath and at a very fast pace. Ren looked at her for a second and then answered, “Umm, y-yeah. I’m going to a wildflower field and I’m about halfway-”. “That’s great, super I love wildflowers! Could I follow you? I could really use some”, the hummingbird said again at her usual fast pace, almost making what she was saying sound inconsistent and a little hard to understand. But Ren could understand enough, so he nodded and kept walking with her to the flowers.

“Well, here we are. Hope there’s enough for you to…”, Ren spoke but he stopped when he saw the hummingbird was already flying around and drinking from the flowers. Ren took this time to look over them. It was a fairly big flat of land where all the flowers grew naturally. It was nicely hidden too! Behind a hill and surrounded by trees, so almost no one came here. When Ren was bored he would occasionally come here in the warmer months, lay down, and just rest but not fall asleep. Taking a big whiff of the flowers from time to time. That’s exactly what he did while he watched the hummingbird fly to flowers and drink up from them. After a few minutes, she came back to Ren and talked to him.

The hummingbird flew closer to Ren “Hey, sorry red. I get like that when I don’t get some flowers! I’m Rosy.”, the hummingbird said, at a normal pace and her sentence sounded easy to understand. “Glad to meet you Rosy, I’m Ren. Not Red.”, the fox said and clarified. Rosy responded with, “Nice to meet you Red. I mean Ren, sorry.”. Ren laughed and told Rosy that it was all good. The two started talking and they learned more about each other. Rosy was traveling the world, getting a free ride anywhere she could, staying in warm climates, and drinking any sweet liquid to keep going. She ended up telling Ren all about the places she’s been to. Ren liked hearing about other places from around the world, even if he didn’t like traveling. It reminded him of Buddy, and how he was migrating. But Rosy chooses to travel, Buddy doesn’t have a choice. After listening to Rosy about her travels, Ren talked about his reindeer friend Buddy, how he felt about him, what they did, and how sad felt when he had to go.

Rosy listened to every word, her eyes showing sympathy for Ren. When the fox was finished, she said, “I’m sorry. That must be hard for you. It’s not easy for me to make friends either, with me traveling so much and some animals being a little freaked out with how fast I move.”. Ren responded with his ears dropped down saying, “It’s ok. I’m just trying to get on with my life now. I know that’s what Buddy would want me to do.”. “Well I think he’d be happy for you if he was here. Plus, you got a new friend now!”, Rosy told him with a smile on her face. Ren’s ears perked up, and he looked at Rosy. “Y-you being serious?”, Ren asked in amazement. Rosy smiled and told him, “Yeah. I’ve made some friends around the world, but I don’t stay in one place for too long so I like having a few friends in lots of places. If that’s ok with you.”, Rosy asked. Ren thought to himself for a moment before he smiled and said, “Yeah. I’d like that.” with a tear rolling down his cheek.

It was April 8th, and Ren was running through the wildflower field. The smell of all the flowers invaded his nose whether he breathed in or not. The fox jumped now and then for no reason, except for one; when he was happy. Happy as he was when he was with Buddy. Yet now he had a new friend. He kept dashing through the flowers in the hopes she’d eventually reveal herself. Ren was less interested in hide and seek and more focused on what he was doing. He knew Rosy was in the flowers, he just had to find her. After a while, Rosy shot out of the flowers that Ren was going to run over and yelled “Boo!” in a silly attempt to scare him. Ren stopped in his tracks, but he didn’t get scared. Ren was shocked but relieved since he thought he had run over her by accident. It was a worry the fox always had when she was at ground level, but Rosy always told him it’d take real effort to hurt a hummingbird. While Ren was still worried he was glad. For Rosy’s safety, and that he had a friend to hang around with.

April ended sooner than expected and it was May 17th. Rosy and Ren were both inside the hollow tree Ren called home. It was raining and even though Rosy could fly in the rain, the both of them didn’t want to get wet. So they decided to stay in the shade and watch the rain. Well, Ren was watching the rain more. Rosy was sucking some flowers Ren picked so she wouldn’t have to go out. The hummingbird wasn’t drinking the whole time though, she was the one mostly talking while Ren looked at the rain. The two of them grew fairly close during the time they spent together. Sadly, Rosy was going to be moving by the end of the month. Some places of the world (like the place Ren lives) get too hot for her to handle and she can’t stay there and has to move. Ren knew this so it worried Rosy when he didn’t talk a lot. She decided to break the ice and asked, “Hey Ren, you know I have to leave soon, right?”. Ren stayed silent for a moment before responding with, “Yeah, I’m trying to cope with it as best I can, but I’m still going to feel sad and upset that you’re leaving. I know you have to and I’m not angry with you. I just…still feel awful.”. Rosy put down the flower she had and hopped in front of Ren’s left paw which was resting on the floor. “Ren, I know you don’t want me to go and I don’t want you to go through the same pain that you went through when Buddy left. But it’s going to be ok. I had a lot of fun with you so I’m coming back here to visit, no question about that! I just want you to know that it’ll be okay, and Buddy will be so proud of you for moving forward and getting out. So it’s ok, and you’ll be ok. You got over your sadness once, you can get over it again.”. Rosy hugged the paw she was in front of. Ren gently smiled, looked at the rain, looked at Rosy, and said, “Thank you. I appreciate you.”.


The May showers brought June flowers, on June 23rd. Only the first month of summer and Ren was already swimming in a lake. It was the only Lake for miles so he was lucky he had one close by. It was surrounded by trees, clean sandy shores, and a pier for any humans who wanted to go fishing or swimming themselves. He prefers his fur to get wet from any form of water that isn’t sweat. Just as he was finished swimming and shaking himself dry, he saw a flock of geese flying close to the ground before landing in the lake Ren just got out of. They must have been migrating too. The birds swam in the lake, looking like they were having a fun time. One of them however was coming out of the lake and moving closer to Ren. “Hey Sly, hope we didn’t scare you.”, the goose said in a country-sounding accent. She sounded female. Ren answered, “Hey, and no you didn’t. I was just getting out so-”, but he was interrupted by another goose swimming in the lake who looked older and sounded male and yelled, “Hey redhead! What are you doing here!?!”. “Dan, we migrated here! For all we know WE’RE the ones invading!!!”, the female goose that walked up to Ren yelled back, defending the fox. A different female goose yelled, “Well WE come to THIS lake EVERY SUMMER! Why is it OUR fault that HE doesn’t know that!?!?!”. Ren didn’t come to the lake in a while. He usually goes to a river to cool off. He starts thinking he should have gone there instead when a yelling battle commences with the geese.

After what felt like hours (which was just 30 minutes), the geese stopped fighting. Most of them apologized to Ren but a few of them were just too stubborn to say sorry. It didn’t matter to him though, cause now he was lying on a flat rock soaking in the sun. He was dozing off again but he jolted up when the goose that approached him walked up to him. “Hey Sly, sorry about all of that. You know how geese get after migration. All they want to do is relax with nothing getting in the way! My name’s Gwen by the way. What’s your’s?”, Gwen asked. Ren didn’t mind being called sly, he was a fox after all. He responded, “I’m Ren, good to meet you Gwen. Don’t worry about it, I was just about done swimming today.”. Ren thought that would be it, but Gwen kept asking him questions like, ‘Do you live here?’ and ‘You come here often?’ or ‘What do you like doing?’. The more questions Gwen asked, the more Ren and she talked, asking each other things about the other. Ren liked it and after an hour or two passed Ren asked her, “Shouldn’t you be getting back to your flock?”. “Oh I’m staying with them, I just need to talk with someone else from time to time.”, Gwen said as she got closer to Ren and whispered, “Between you and me, these birds do too much quacking and not enough talking.”. Ren snickered and gave Gwen a wink.

July 13th was the day, and Ren took Gwen past the trees to show her the area he lived in. When they passed the trees, you could see almost everything. It was all grass with a nice amount of hills and the occasional tree here and there. Some trees were closer together and made a little forest in some spots. Some bushes were around the place with a few flower patches here and there. Looking far enough, you could see a city with a road leading to it. A road for cars, there’s no real way of getting here besides having an off-roader. This place is so far away, that no one comes here besides campers. The only people close to here are some farmers growing food and raising animals “Oh my. Sly, you live here? It’s beautiful!”, Gwen yells out loud. Ren smiled and said, “Thanks. I’m used to it but I never get bored of it.”. Then out of nowhere, Gwen flies up and yells, “Come on Sly!”. Ren looked up at her with a playful smirk. He immediately ran after her as she flew through the sky. She turned left and right and Ren kept following her. After some time running the fox ended up losing her track. So Ren ran up a hill to find her again. But when he got up, he found her sitting and looking over the view. Ren decided to sit down and take it all in with her. The hill they were on let them see a lot. It was pretty beautiful. “I’m guessing you see views like this a lot?”, Ren asked after some silent sitting. She looked at him and answered, “Yeah, but not everyone is lucky like that. Able to travel and see new sights, even if it’s for migration, I appreciate it.”. Ren remembered Buddy. Ren told the goose, “I made a friend in the winter, he’s a reindeer and he had to migrate as well. I was sad at first, but I made some more friends and now that I think about it, I should be happy he’s out there and seeing the world.”. Gwen put a wing on the fox’s back and said, “Good for you Ren.”.

August 31st. Summer was ending and Gwen had to leave for her flock. They were at the lake saying their final goodbyes. “It was great to have you here to talk to Gwen.”, Ren said to her as she was in the lake. She looked at him and replied, “It was great talking to you Sly. Be sure to be here when I come back ok?”. Ren nodded. He was going to miss Gwen, but he also missed Rosy and Buddy and he let them go. He knew this was coming. It happened twice, he was ready this time. “Ren, look at me.”, Gwen told him as she saw her flock getting ready for take off. “It’s not easy saying goodbye, but it’s a part of life sometimes. I’ve been through this before and I still get a sad feeling in me, because I don’t know if I’ll be seeing my new friends again. But the part they were here for was happy, and sometimes the happy parts make it all worth meeting them. Rosy and Buddy would be happy to see how you’re doing, I know I am.”. Ren had a warm feeling in his heart. He smiled at Gwen and gave her a lick on the check, getting an ‘Aww’ out of her. The other geese started taking off and Gwen followed behind them. “Bye bye Sly! Have a good fall!”, Gwen shouted as she flew. “Bye! Safe travels!”, Ren shouted as he watched Gwen and her flock fly away.


It was September 4th. Fall had just begun, and Ren was already miserable. His left hind leg and right front leg got stuck under tree roots and his two free limbs could reach, but he wasn’t strong enough to do anything. He was surrounded by quite a few trees too, so the chances of an animal seeing him and saving him were pretty slim. He just laid there for a while, thinking of a way he could get out. He thought about digging his paws out. Even though he might only dig his front paw free, it would be better than nothing. Suddenly a deep and gruff voice came from behind Ren and asked, “Excuse me but, do you need help getting out of there? You look like you’re in a tight spot.”. It was definitely a male, but Ren didn’t really think about that and just said, “Yeah, I’d appreciate that. Thanks!”. “No problem, just doing what I love.”, said the animal behind the fox. Ren just stayed still, waiting to see if the animal would ask him to move forward or lift his leg. But instead, he heard a loud RIIIIIIP and CRACK from behind him. The fox gets tense and wonders how strong this animal is, but he just continues to lay down and wait for him to rip the other root out. However, Ren felt the sunlight that was shining on him get blocked out as the animal walked in front of him.

The fox raised his head slowly in confusion and his questioned face turned to horror! A brown bear stood in front of him with a grin. Though his face was hard to make out, Ren could see the bear had dark brown fur on the top of his head and peach-colored fur around his muzzle with the rest of his fur being brown. “HELP! HELLLLP! SOMEONE SAVE ME! BEAR!”, Ren shouted without a second thought, genuinely scared for his life. The bear stopped smiling and was genuinely shocked, but not surprised by this reaction. He stood on his hind legs, put his paws up, and stepped back so the fox would feel less scared. When that didn’t work he said, “Whoa! whoa! Easy kid. I just wanna help. Not hurt you.”. At this point, Ren stopped trying to escape and submitted himself to what he thought was his demise. His free front paw was covering his eyes, trying not to cry but he was whimpering. Throwing his whimpers he said, “P-Please, don’t eat me. I-I’ll find your food, I’ll do whatever you want. Just please, let me live.”, a tear rolled down Ren’s face as he began to cry. This genuinely hurt the bear and he frowned too. The bear pushed himself into the ground, getting as leveled with the fox as he could. All he said was, “Cry if you need to, you’ll feel better afterward.”, Before waiting for Ren to stop.

Ren stopped and lifted his paw a little, opening one eye to see the big brown bear in front of him. “I’m not going to hurt you. If I wanted to, wouldn’t I’ve done it by now? I understand. When you see a bear, you’re his prey and you should run or play dead to survive. I know that’s the case a lot of the time. But I assure you, personally, I’m nothing like that. I just want to help animals who are smaller than me and who might be in need. Like you. I just want to help you so you can go on with your life.”, the bear said in a gentle tone and smiled at the end. Ren took his paw off his face completely and looked at the bear with both eyes. The bear continued. “How about this? I get this last root out and free you. And when I do, I’ll close my eyes and you can run away as fast as you can. That way I won’t know where you are and you’ll never see me again. You ok with that?”. Ren thought for a moment and nodded. The bear got up and bit down hard on the root. It lifted out of the ground and Ren was free! Ren didn’t run immediately though, he looked at the bear and saw his eyes were closed. He really kept his word. Ren stood there for a minute, thinking what he should do next. The foxes’ kindness got the best of him. If the bear was being genuine, he didn’t want to run. That would be rude. Instead, Ren walked up to the bear who was on all 4’s and hugged him, wrapping his arms around the bear’s neck. The bear opened his eyes and was surprised to see the fox doing this. Ren smiled and said in a delighted tone, “Thank you. I’m sorry I yelled at you like that.”. The bear returned the hug with a single arm and replied, “You’re welcome, and don’t even think about it. I know most animals would do the same.”.

Ren pulled away and introduced himself to the brown bear that helped him. “Well, it’s nice to meet you, Ren. I’m Berry.”, the bear said to Ren in his gruff voice. Berry continued and said, “Please, don’t think anything about the way you reacted. Almost everyone I interact with does that.”. Ren frowned. “That must be pretty hard. I’m sorry to hear that.”, the fox said with sympathy. He knew the feeling of being alone and thought the bear could use some company. Berry smiled at him and told Ren, “Oh don’t worry about this old furball. I have a lot of bears I’m friends with, but I moved from where they all stay to find a place more for me.”. Berry’s voice was fairly deep, but he didn’t look that old. Not to Ren anyway. Berry’s last part of his sentence caught Ren’s attention and the fox asked, “Wait, you live around here?”. “Yeah, I can show you if you like.”, Berry asked with a smile. “Of course!”, Ren said without thinking twice.

Ren walked alongside Berry for a little while as leaves crunched underneath them. The forest the fox had gotten stuck in and the one they were walking through now was different. It had trees but not so close together. They looked to be evenly spaced with a lot more room to run through and zip around. A nice amount of sunlight shined through the trees changing leaves, giving a warm, relaxing video in the forest. A few more minutes of walking later, they arrived at a hill with a cave at the base of it. The top and sides were all stone with a little bit of vegetation growing into the cave from the outside. The floor was stone as well, but a lot of moss was growing and spreading into it. “Wow.”, Ren said as he looked into it. “Yeah, I just found it like this and decided to claim it as my home.”, Berry said with a chuckle. Ren suddenly got a sweet, note. Multiple sweet and delicious scents. Berry noticed Ren sniffing and told him, “That’s coming from my cave. Winter’s coming near so I gotta eat up! I’ve got quite the haul! Come see if you want.”. Berry walked into his cave that had a left turn in it. Ren was still a little hesitant, but he smelled nothing but food. The fox walked in and turned the corner and his jaw just hung open. Berry had a pile of food! Pumpkins, apples, berries of all kinds, and some edible wild plants. Ren said in shock, “Wow, that’s a lot of food.”. Berry laughed a little and answered, “I’m a big bear. I gotta eat. Care for a bite?”. Ren nodded and started biting down on an apple while Berry chowed down on a pumpkin.

“Thanks for having me over and for the food and helping me out.”, Ren thanked Berry as the sun started to set. “Think nothing of it, just keep safe while traveling out at night ok?”, Berry said. Ren tilted his head but then straightened it up when he realized what Berry was saying. Berry thought Ren was traveling, the bear didn’t know the fox lived near here. Ren corrected the bear and told him, “I live around here.”. Berry’s eyes widened, and asked in surprise, “Really?”. “Yeah, I live a little ways away, but not too far. I can’t believe we never met until now.”, Ren said, surprised himself. Before Berry could say anything, Ren asked him, “Is it ok if I come back sometime soon?”. “It gets a little lonely here, so you come by whenever you like. Don’t feel like you need to come by, ok?”, Berry said with a smile on his face. Then again he always smiles. The only times he doesn’t is if he smiles too much and his face hurts. Ren smiled and replied, “I wanna come back. I know what it’s like not having anyone. Either because of what animal you are, or you just don’t see many animals. Plus, you’re too sweet of a guy to be left alone.”. Without thinking, Ren walked up to the bear and hugged him like he did when he freed him. Berry put a single arm on Ren’s back and rubbed him. “If you want, you can spend the night here. Only if you want to.”, Berry asked him out of the kindness of his heart. Ren, still hugging the bear, simply nodded.

It was October 19th, and Berry was quietly walking around in the forest he found Ren in. He was stepping as quietly as he could, listening as best he could. Nothing. He heard nothing as Ren stealthy ran through the forest, ducking behind any tree or bush he could. The two were playing a little game. Ren had to get to the end of the forest before Berry could catch him. The fox was a little more than halfway through the forest, but he was so focused on looking at Berry that he ended up stepping on a stick and SNAP! Berry immediately turned his head to the sound and started walking over there. Ren hid behind a nearby tree, holding his breath. He heard the bear coming closer, and closer. And without warning Berry darted to the side of the tree! And saw nothing. A broken branch was pretty close by, so the noise had to come from here. Berry then heard a sprinting noise behind him and turned around, Ren was trying to run the rest of the way to the end of the forest! Berry wasn’t going to let that happen. He turned around and started running after his fox friend. Ren may have been faster, but Berry was a lot bigger and caught up to the fox without much effort. Ren looked back and saw just how close Berry was to him, he had a smirk on his face like he knew he was going to win.

Ren smirked back and made a sharp right turn. Berry was shocked at first, then he followed Ren. Then Ren made a left turn, then a right, then a left, and then he started dashing and darting everywhere. Ren was trying to get Berry off his trail so that he could make it to the end of the forest. Berry realized this, so he stopped chasing Ren and just ran straight to the end of the forest. When the bear got there, he stood at the edge of where the forest ended and waited there, getting ready to block and catch Ren if he tried to get out. Berry took this time to catch his breath while he kept his head moving, scanning for the red fox. “Good idea waiting for me at the end.”, said a familiar voice from behind Berry, he looked swiftly and saw Ren who was also catching his breath. “It would probably work better if you got here first.”, Ren said in a playful tone and winking. Berry chuckled and replied, “Ok, ok, you got me there. Sorry if I scared you back there.”. Berry sounded a little upset, almost like he was ashamed of what he did. Ren smiled and told him, “Don’t worry about it. I know you wouldn’t hurt me anyway.”. Berry let out a relieved sigh and asked Ren, “So, ready to go again?”.

November 26th came and it was the last month of fall. Berry would be hibernating at the start of December, so the two of them spent as much time as they could. It was night and they were both looking up at the stars on the hill that Berry’s cave was in. It was pretty cold but it didn’t affect Berry and Ren a lot. The two lay on their backs just looking at the sky in silence. They both talked a lot over the months and even though they met at the beginning of the season, they grew pretty close to one another. The best thing about that is that they lived in the same area as one another, so they could hang out whenever either of them wanted! The two realized this about a week ago, but even after that, Berry was a little sad over that. Ren noticed this and thought he’d ask. “Hey Berry, are you ok? You’ve been looking a little sad lately.”, the fox asked. Berry sighed heavily and told Ren, “I’m just a little upset and worried. I don’t get along with a lot of animals because they’re too scared to even talk to a bear. And now that I have met one animal that I get along with, who isn’t scared of me and lives in the same area as me, I have to hibernate for the winter! I’m just upset our time together is getting cut short. And I’m worried we might not see each other again.”. Berry sounded sad as he said this. When he finished, Berry’s current state started to remind Ren of Buddy, and how he felt when his reindeer friend had to leave for reasons beyond his control. Ren was amazed how the roles switched from him being sad for his friend leaving, to being the friend that comforts his sad friend.

Ren turned his head to look at Berry. Ren started with, “Remember I told you about my friend Buddy?”. Berry turned his head to Ren and nodded. Ren continued, “When he left, I was incredibly sad. I couldn’t even leave my home! But I did, and I’m glad I did.  If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have met Rosy, Gwen, or you Berry. No matter how long I’d stay in my home it wouldn’t make Buddy come back, the world and life was still going on while I was inside and it wasn’t going to wait for me. I had to go out and seize the day and accept the fact that some things are beyond my control, and there’s no reason to get upset over them because I can’t change that. We just gotta accept things in life sometimes and keep going. Plus, there’s always more fun times to come.”. Berry smiled and laughed. “How am I the old furball yet I’m getting lectured by you?”, the bear said playfully. Ren smiled back and said, “You’re never too old to learn something new.”. The two went back to looking at the stars and Berry said, “I’m glad I met you Ren.”. The fox replied, “I’m glad you’re the one who helped me.”.


December 15th, it was lightly snowing and winter was finally here! And Ren wasn’t going to wait for Buddy, or be sad that Berry would be sleeping for 3 months. Instead, Ren went skating! He went back to the lake where he met Gwen and did some skating. Nothing too crazy. Just some turns, spins, and speeding up as fast as he could. However, during one of these times, he sped up, he tried to use his claws to stop himself. And it was a big mistake! He stopped abruptly and got launched at the edge of the frozen lake. He flew through the air and landed in the snow. It wasn’t as soft as it looked. Ren just lay there and groaned with his eyes. “Hope you had a nice trip.”. Ren heard a familiar voice and shot his eyes open as he looked up. It was a reindeer. A reindeer he hadn’t seen in almost a whole year.

Buddy just smiled but Ren got up and hugged his friend by the leg. Buddy wasn’t surprised. He knew Ren was a softy. He started lowering himself far enough for Ren to wrap his arms around his neck. Neither of them said anything, they just stayed like that for a while, embracing each other. Ren was surprisingly emotional for a fox. He even shed a single tear while he hugged him. “I…really! Really! Missed you.”, Ren was able to get out without sounding like he was going to break into tears, cause he wasn’t. Buddy laughed a little and said, “I missed you too! Don’t worry, I’m staying by your side till winter is over. You must have been pretty lonely.”. Ren smiled and told Buddy, “Actually, I’ve been fine. Better than fine really.” as he let go of Buddy. The two of them walked away from the lake and lay on the side of a hill, as Ren told Buddy everything that happened. “Wow, you made a lot of friends while I was gone. They seem like good animals.”, Buddy said as he looked at Ren and then at the snowfalling. Ren replied, “Yeah, I made some great friends this year. And I can’t wait to meet them all again and maybe even make some new friends next year.”.

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